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"Haddock Enters Camp" is a Season 3 thread from December 20-22, 2014, taking place after Haddock Possessed.

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The Warden: A cape billowed behind his form as his eyes took in the Grounded Dungeon camp. So familiar… yet he stared at it from a new lens. Haddock stepped forth, feet crunching in the snow as he approached his people.

Or, rather, his people no more.

A cold smirk twitched the corner of his lips as he entered camp.

Asuka Guarini: The strange and busty newcomer felt a cold breeze on her face. She shivered and her eyes fluttered open. But to her shock: the place was just as empty as when she arrived. She took off her her hood; exposing her long amethyst hair. It ended near her lower back. And in one swell motion she grabbed her bow and stood up. Without taking a stance that would make her seem like too much a threat she started to wander the camp. Hopefully in search of some form of life.

The Warden: Lifting his head, the Warden scanned the area and eyed the dragons surrounding the walls of camp. They turned their heads and began to snarl as he passed, but she flicked her mind at them like a lash and they shrunk back, subsiding and regretfully turning their heads back to their duties. Strange how they’d overreacted to the King’s death, she mused. Placing guards on every wall…dragon guards, no less…but wait…why are they facing inward…?

Shaking his head, Haddock continued forward, keenly watching the apparently barren camp for any signs of movement.

Akkey Black: With all who were trapped in the fortress finally rescued, Akkey could relax a bit. Stonegit can no longer threaten them with hostages.

She stretched, glad of the nearness of her Father. Her thoughts wandered to her previous conversation with Mera. She’d agreed to looking into this portal to Valhalla. Maybe Father would have ideas…

She opened her mouth to ask him, but she spotted something… someone familiar from the corner of her eye. She turned to look, and her voice caught in her throat, Pitch forgotten.

He stood with his back to the setting sun, his face hidden in shadow. His clothes were torn and muddied, his shoulders slouched with fatigue. His cape billowed around him in the wind. He didn’t speak, he didn’t make a move. But she knew who he was.

"H…how?"

The Warden: The Warden pushed Haddock toward Akkey, and he stood there facing the young woman. “I know no more than you do,” he told her, shaking his head. Then he opened his mouth into a smile. A small one, but a smile nonetheless. “But I am very thankful to have survived, however it happened.”

The consciousness of Haddock trembled within. This is not thankfulness, you monster!

His eyes narrowed as the Warden reflected back on the confrontation between Haddock, Stonegit, and the Valkyrie. Suspiciously, he asked, “Is Dust… in you anymore?”

Akkey Black: She flinched when he spoke. It felt wrong, it felt surreal. It was like she was dreaming. It wasn’t possible. He died… his heart burned right before her eyes! He was gone. So… how?

She didn’t notice her father disappear behind her. She didn’t notice her legs moving, bringing her nearer to him. She didn’t even notice herself responding to his question with a whispered “no”.

Slowly, she approached him. The strangeness of his demeanor did not register, she wasn’t thinking straight. She needed to know… she need to see if he was real. If he was alive. If he was really there. She brought up a hand, reaching for the burned hole on his tunic.

The Warden: Quick as a flash, Haddock reached up and grabbed her hand, keeping her from touching the mostly-healed wound. "I would prefer if you didn’t," he said quietly. His eyes flicked upwards to meet the rabbit-kind’s. Wouldn’t she be a prize to possess…after all, a mere fallen Valkyrie could…

She derailed her train of thoughts and cocked his head. "What has occurred since my absence?"

Akkey Black: She gasped when he grabbed her hand, and she met his gaze, her eyes clouding over. His eyes flashed and she involuntarily whimpered, weakly trying to get away from his grasp. It was happening again. Her heart thundered as the visions returned, quickly, over and over. Weapons clanging, the smell of blood, the screams… it filled her head again. But this time it kept flicking back to his eyes, boring down into hers. She didn’t want to, but she couldn’t look away.

"P… plenty." she stammered, her breaths shallow, "Stone… Stonegit has… taken over… controlling the dragons. He wants… the people who’ve threatened you… dead. He’s going to kill… kill them… all… my father, too…"

"But… but you’re here… and Her Majesty. You… you can stop… him."

The Warden: Haddock appeared not to notice the chief’s wimpers and shallow breath.

“I will put everything back into control. I must be the one in power,” Haddock answered. "I cannot believe he would act against me.” His fist indeed tightened on her arm in determination.

Asuka Guarini: "Hmm? I hear someone…" Her voice was soft out of instinct and she readied her bow. TO her the talk sounded aggressive at points, and then raspy at others. She walked towards the sounds with light feet and came umpon two figures. One in a weak struggle, and the other in a power grip. Out of instinct she fired one arrow; narrowly grazing the hand of the latter figure. "That was just a warning shot! Let her go now!" Her voice seemed loud and commanding, but that was only because the situation demanded such action from her.

The Warden: Haddock jerked backwards as the arrow nearly sliced open the skin of his hand, releasing the girl. Glaring at the one who attacked her, the Warden snarled inwardly but merely frowned at the woman. "How dare you attack your King," he said in a low voice. She was overplaying it now, she knew that, but these rebels were being so cursed slow on the uptake. Time to make things interesting.

Akkey Black: She fell onto the ground, her face half buried in the snow. The cold cleared her head of the dreaded flashbacks, and she sat up, scanning their surroundings. She saw a girl (well endowed, curses!) setting another arrow onto her bow, ready to fire at Haddock again. The King was hunched over, defensive. He can’t get hurt again!

"Stop that!" she acted on impulse, throwing a knife at the newcomer and knocking the arrow away, "Who are you?"

Calder: Calder turned toward the sound, lifting his hammer to a ready position as he ran towards the source of conflict. He still felt like something was off.

He reached the trio ready for an attack, though it wasn’t too much of a conflict. Instead, he saw a man on the ground and one woman cradling another.

"Who are you all?" He asked, with a suspicious tone.

Elia Rehan: Elia ran towards the camp entrance, Grey and a few others following.

Then the Warden’s vessel came into view. A few more steps and Elia skidded to a stop, nearly causing someone to collide into her but not noticing. She gaped - heart thundering - head spinning - at a man she had seen before, someone tall and lean, the wind tugging at his cape.

How?

But it had to be him. Elia recognised him now, both mentally and physically. And the Warden was there…in full control…

"No," she heard herself saying, her voice barely above a whisper. "Not King Haddock!"

Asuka Guarini: She simply lowered her bow and approached the two. “I’m sorry, but I thought to shoot first and introduce later. My name’s Asuka. Asuka Guarini.” She smiled a little and then glared over at Haddock. “And you should be ashamed of yourself! How dare you harm a hair on this innocent young woman!” And then she ran over to Akkey and drew her into her ample bosom. “I’m so sorry that happened to you!”

Grey Bergman: Grey stopped dead in her tracks next to Elia and stared at her in great shock and confusion. She then turned her sights back to the scene in front of them. There was Chief Akkey…being held against a strange woman’s…bosom…but the man standing there with them. She squinted. No…it couldn’t be…. Her brown eyes widened. It was King Haddock! He was alive! But… That was when she remembered what Elia had just said right now and what she said before they came here. 

Her heart fell to the ground. Her face went pale. All she could do was utter one word. “No…”

Calder: Calder stepped back, the addition of these new people made him nervous. He held his hammer in front of him in a fighting stance. He was especially nervous about the dragons, flicking a glance towards his metal fingers as his mind replayed the memories. Just great.

"I’m going to ask one more time." He said, trying desperately to sound intimidating, though the shakiness of his voice blew that attempt. "W-who are you all, and what’s g-going on?"

The Warden: Haddock turned his head, eyes roving across the camp upon hearing the sound of other voices. He noticed the gathering people, many of them faces pale in shock. Most of them stood at a bit of a distance as though hoping he had not noticed them.

He knew immediately what they were thinking: How could this man be alive? As though to flaunt off his living body - ragged though it currently was - he stepped around in a circle, nodding, acknowledging everyone there. He let Akkey alone be smothered in the other woman’s big-chested embrace and shifted his body to address the others.

Something’s extremely off here.

Mindless, foolish children, the whole lot of them.

The Warden surged outward in a mental explosion, piercing everyone’s minds and infiltrating their vision. They hardly had a second to react. Beginning to feed into their minds, she altered their sight and brought Haddock to a standstill in front of them, smiling horribly. With her power, she wrought a terrible vision of her own, new form: a tall woman, with horns spiraling from the side of her head, black eyes aflame with scarlet pupils, long matted hair, and a fanged grin, standing directly behind Haddock, a nightmarish hallucination towering over him as she gazed down at all of the rebels. 

"Long live the King," she hissed, her own mouth and Haddock’s moving in unison.

Grey Bergman: Grey let out a scream as a sharp pain shot into the back of her head. The pain left as quickly as it came. As she tried to catch her breath, she looked up at Haddock and gasped at what she saw…or at least what she thought she saw. Her heart pounded seeing the woman behind Haddock. It was true… Elia was right! It really was…her!

Her look of shock became a glare. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Shadow growling at the king and the horrible demon! 

"THE WARDEN!" she shouted at the woman. 

Calder: Calder jumped back violently out of surprise and pain, landing on the ground with a thud. Grabbing his hammer, he scrambled back to his feet and shakily got into his fighting position. I knew something was off.

 He held his hammer out in front of him. He was terrified. He couldn’t think straight. Calder had come all this way to join the rebellion and now he was next to collapsing in fear. What a great first impression. 

I need to act. He thought. I can’t have everyone in the rebellion thinking I’m a coward. Say something, you idiot. Anything!

"Get Back! Now!" 

Akkey Black: The woman’s bosom was suffocating her. One second she was on defense and the next she had a face full of breast, unable to see or even hear what was going on. The woman, Asuka, she had a strong grip. 

"Oof! Let go!" she complained in a muffled voice. Finally she broke free, and glared up at her, "Thank you for your worries, but I’m perfectly f…"

"…ine." She turned around, distracted by the voices behind her. She was greeted by the sight of a few rebels, plus a couple of new faces, clutching their heads and glaring at Haddock. One of them, a boy, had his hammer up, calling for everyone to get back. He was ready to attack.

She rushed forward, desperately wishing for her sword or even some water.Damn this snow… I can’t use it!

”What are you doing?!” 

Asuka Guarini: Asuka let go right away. “Oh! I’m so sorry! I just get carried away sometimes…” Then she turned back to Haddock with a lowered weapon and narrowed eyes. “I hope you know to whom you speak before you tell me who I freely give my allegiance to. I am Asuka Guarini, and I give my pledge to no one human. Now tell me you greedy son of man: what has decided to make you act in such a way?” And even if Haddock had remained the taller; there had been something about Asuka’s positioning and demeanor that seemed off-putting. 

The Warden: Why can’t they see me…? It doesn’t matter. 

"I am no mortal." Haddock turned his head to glare at the woman, hand gripping the hilt of his sword tightly. "And I am not your king…the dear child has it correctly." 

With a sudden flourishing movement, he drew his sword and grabbed the rabbit-kind’s shoulder, putting the blade against her throat and locking her arms behind her back with his free hand.

"I am taking control of this miserable scrap heap," she said airily, adjusting his grip on the girl’s arms. "Anyone who refuses will have their will removed from them, one way or another." He cast a glance around at the camp, and added, "And if someone could point me to dark-eyes, that would be lovely." 

Akkey Black: There was a soft crack of bones and she whimpered, her shoulders straining against the pressure. She gasped when she felt the cold metal touch her neck.  

"Y-you’re Majesty… Haddock…" she croaked, her eyes bulging with shock and fear. The situation still hadn’t completely sunk in yet, "What are you doing? What’s dark-eyes? Please let me go…" 

Seasick: As the scene unfolded before the crowd, Seasick could no longer stand by and do nothing. She pushed her way through and faced the possessed king. 

"Stop! Please, just stop. You want Stonegit right? The we’ll give him to you, just please don’t hurt Akkey or anyone else." She paused and looked around at the crowd.

Do I really hand Stonegit over to the Warden? What could she possibly want with him. If I do, I doubt any other members will hate me for it. It could buy us time to break the alpha’s control, or to escape with our lives.

Slowly stepping towards Haddock and Akkey, Seasick continued, “if you want Stonegit, he’s roaming around the camp. I’ll have guards go fetch him for you. But I should warn you, much like Haddock here, Stonegit isn’t himself… Just please, let Akkey go.” 

The Warden: "Acceptable." He released the girl, and she lurched away from him, staring in confusion and slight fear. She’d forgotten how much fun it was to mess with them, but she couldn’t help but feel a slight taint of…guilt? Shut it off. You feel nothing towards this rabble. Besides, you have your prize…have fun with it while you can. 

"Bring him to me," Haddock ordered. "Something’s gone wrong inside him…I think a little…talk would be good for him. Don’t you think, rabbit-kind?" 

Akkey Black: Her trembling hand hovered above her neck, right where the sword was a mere two seconds ago. “S… Stonegit? T-talking wasn’t… working… but if… it was you… i… it sh-should…” 

Her body shook uncontrollably. She couldn’t understand it. What was happening? Why was the King alive, and why was he acting like this? Why did he do that to her? Did… did he really intend to kill her?

She searched his face, trying to find answers. Her eyes involuntarily flicked up to meet his… wrong move. 

There it was again. She couldn’t look away; his eyes bore into hers. The constricted pupils had her trapped. And they showed her the same images, the same memories. Over and over and over.

Her head throbbed, slowly but intensely. She pressed her hand against the side, hard. Still she couldn’t look away, “Please…” she begged it to stop, “Not now…”

Like a taut string pulled too tightly, it snapped. And she started screaming from the pain. 

Grey Bergman: "CHIEF!" Grey shouted fearfully as she watched the scene unfold before her. She glared at the King…or the Warden…whoever she was glaring at. She couldn’t just stand around anymore. Like lightning, she ran forward toward the King and the Chief and stood between them as she pointed her sword at the King’s body while standing protectively in front of the Chief. Guilt coursed through her as she realized that she was pointing a sword at the King, but she quickly pushed it down. "No, Grey, stay focused. This is the Warden. The Warden is possessing Haddock! That’s all! Stay…focused."

 "Stay away from her…Warden,” she said. “We’re giving you Stonegit like you asked. There’s no need to play any more mind games. But I do have one question to ask, what do you want with Stonegit?” He might have been threatening to kill them, but he was still one of them. He was still the boy who volunteered to protect King Haddock at all costs. 

Greg Ericson: Greg was getting incredibly scared. If what Grey was correct and this was the Warden, which all signs seemed to indicate that it was, he was very right in being so with everthing he had heard about her. This feeling only grew worse when Grey ran towards Haddock. They had become good friends during their last mission together and he was afraid for her safety. When the Warden finally starting threatening everyone he had decided to speak up. “Listen were getting him for you,” he spoke with courage he didn’t know he possessed, “threatening these people isn’t going to speed up that process so just chill.” With that he crossed his arms, a cool guise on his face while internally he was freaking out. 

The Warden: "You tell me to ‘chill’?" the Warden asked, amused. "You’re the ones running around frightened like rabbits." She could see that Greg was trying to remain calm, but of course everyone around her was more than quite tense, and she could not help but mock everyone’s reactions. 

It’s good to be back in camp, she thought to herself.

And from inside her Haddock growled, You’re sickening. He tried to claw his way to volition but she shoved him down again.

"But you better hope that he comes soon," the Warden continued. "If he isn’t fast enough, I might not believe you when you say he’s coming." 

Grey Bergman: Grey was about to answer when Akkey’s screaming interrupted her. She looked behind her and saw the chief on her knees screaming in agony. She immediately backed away from the Warden still keeping her eyes on Haddock as she knelt down and hugged the chief close rubbing her back.  

"He will be here," Grey said to the Warden glaring. "And just so you know, ya demonic freak, you’re on our turf now! So, when you deal with Stonegit, you had better consider what you’re going to do after because we will do everything we can to get our King back for good!" 

Seasick: "Grey…" Seasick shot Grey a concerned look. 

"Okay, look, we’ll go fetch Stonegit, and you can talk or do whatever you want with him, and let the rest of us go. 

Seasick motioned to two guards standing in the crowd and they nodded and quickly left to find Stonegit.

"We all want peace, and we want Haddock back, and although Stonegit isn’t in the right frame of mind, he won’t be happy about this development. So expect him to put up a fight. In the meantime, let’s all just, try to remain clam and not attack or threaten each other, if that’s possible?" 

Bree Ostberg: Bree, not being much of a people person has disappeared behind the crowd for the last while, observing. Then, the two guards passed her. The taller of the two stopped, and motioned for the other to join, saying something about an eavesdropper, but by the time they looked back she was with the others.  

"If you know Stonegit won’t be happy, ‘tis not right to bring a man of his state into this. Especially after all he’s been through."

She turned to face Grey, “You understand, right? Neither of them are who they should be, let alone in the right frame of mind to know so.” 

Mera Violet Haddock: Mera, passing by Bree, Grey, and the guards, paused. “What is this about bringing out Stonegit?” She frowned. “There’s no reason to involve him in anything.”  

Without even awaiting a response from anyone, she marched outside with Signy in her arm and Egil trailing at her heels. She hustled straight for the crowd, thick skirts dragging on the ground, and marched her way up until she could clearly see what the center of attention was.

Gareth.

Except not Gareth. He would never allow his hair to look so disarrayed; not even after a full night’s rest did his bed head look so tangled. Nor would he… deities… was that a hole in the middle of his shirt? 

There was something wrong.

She knew it already.

"It’s Dad!" squeaked Egil, breaking her concentration on the image of her not-husband. "He’s visiting us from Valhalla!"

"Egil…" Mera said, a shake to her voice. "Stay here, okay? Can you look after Signy?" 

"Yeah, sure," the boy said, completely disinterested in his sister as Mera set the fourteen-month-old down carefully. Mera pointed to the baby to several of the adults nearby to make sure they knew the child was there before she listened to the rest of Egil’s response. "She don’t walk too well," he commented. Then, "Why can’t I come with -"

"NO!" Mera’s voice was just a small volume lower than a shout. "STAY. HERE. SHUT. UP."

The boy, suddenly frightened at his mother’s harsh words, acquiesced without another word.

And Mera approached Gareth.

"What is this?" she demanded, standing about twelve feet away with her arms crossed over her bosom. 

The Warden: Something bucked within Haddock’s mind and the Warden firmly clamped it down, locking him back in his box. Oh, no you don’t. She couldn’t allow him to win. Not now. 

He cocked his head slightly, looking her up and down. "So you’re the King’s little wife," the Warden purred. 

Mera Violet Haddock: "No, I didn’t know that at all." Mera tried to assess exactly what was speaking out of Haddock’s mouth. Something… unnatural. "I didn’t think I was his wife. I thought I was his dragon’s cousin’s owner’s sister’s best friend twice removed." 

She remained distanced from the shape of Haddock. “Out with it already. Who are you?” 

The Warden: "You’ve heard much about me already, dear queen." Haddock stepped forward and began circling her. "I’ve been so looking forward to meet you…ever since gaining access to his memories. You are such a bright spot in his life…how sweet. And children, as well." His gaze shifted to the young ones standing a distance off. "Quaint. But search your own memories, Mera Violet Haddock. I’m sure you can come up with a sufficient deduction. You seem like an intelligent girl."  

Mera Violet Haddock: "Sire Resting Bitch Face actually thinks fondly of me? Deities, I only figure that out when a demon takes over him?" Mera scrutinized her husband’s body, staring especially up at the eyes. "Garthy, Garthy, speak to me. Your memories, come on. Speak to me. Gareth…" 

The Warden: The Warden chuckled smoothly. "You don’t know how many times I’ve sat through that talk, Mera." He started mimicking the various rebels that had parroted her words. " ‘It’s me…talk to me…It wasn’t your fault…listen to me, listen to my voice…’ You’re all the same, all groveling idiots who love each other too much."

 His eyes flicked back to the children.

"I wonder what happens when that love is misplaced." 

Mera Violet Haddock: Mera completely ignored the Warden. The more she interacted with the demon and not her husband, the more power the unearthly being would have over the king. It was Gareth, Gareth she wanted. 

And so Mera addressed him.

"It was in the fall shortly after my seventeenth birthday. You and I were trussed up in the back of a wagon, tied up to be taken to our enemies in the North. We bounced into each other like bundles of potatoes on their way to the market. I think I even accidentally hit you in the crotch with my floundering foot after the coach hit a big bump in the road. Oh yes, yes I did. You were crying.

"One of the only times I’ve seen you cry, might I add.” Mera smirked.

"But even through all that, you tried to sit up. And looked me in the eye. Said, ‘I don’t know if we’ll get out of this one, Mera.’ And I told you that you were a pessimistic buffoon and needed to get your act together. But you kept talking about how this could be the end… and then your voice changed.

" ‘Suppose we get through this,’ you said, or something like that. ‘There will just be another day running from our enemies, full of danger, full of pain. Every day, painful. Like this one. But I’ve come to realize something: we can make our lives better, replace that pain with greater joy, through our own volition. And I think it’s about time we do that.’

"I had no idea what you meant and told you as much. Said you must have hit your head too hard because you were starting to sound like a philosopher who just retreated to the forests and ate grass with the deer every day. But you shook your head, kept trying to be serious, saying, ‘Let’s make some joy for ourselves, Mera. Let’s make this life of ours worth the struggles every day. Let’s make it our life. I know I am an exiled prince and will live on the run from enemies. I can’t give you much… but… maybe I can give you that happiness that will make our lives better. If we get out of this mess… will you marry me?’

"Garthy," Mera murmured, "don’t forget that day. Think on it. Think. That’s you. That’s us. That’s us right now." Mera stepped a little forward. "And remember… remember how I responded to your proposal?"  

The Warden: "Awwww." The sound was drawn out. "I do, dear Mera. But do you know what else I remember? 

"This."

Quick as a snake, he reached out and touched her forehead, and submerged her in a vivid memory: the image of Haddock reaching out, grabbing Stonegit by the collar, and pressing their lips together. 

Mera Violet Haddock: "That’s not a true memory!" Mera shouted, fists clenching the ruffles of her skirts. She backed away hurriedly so that the memory could dissipate. 

That demon is trying to turn me against him. Well, true memories will always win out over false conjurations like that.

She tried to calm her voice again, and continued, “I was about to accept your proposal when a bump in the road threw me into you, and I whacked my forehead up against your mouth and nose, and suddenly your snout was bleeding all over me.” 

The Warden: "Isn’t it? Oh, maybe I misplaced the other one…no, wait. Here it is."

 Another flash: Stonegit reaching up to kiss Haddock lightly on the lips before the duel, reaching back and giving him that loving smirk, oh, it sickened her so, but it was ammunition. So she let it flow. 

Mera Violet Haddock: "Is that really the best you can come up with?" Mera, fed up, finally directly reproached the demon. 

The Warden: Haddock smirked. 

"Oh, no. I can do much worse than show you real memories. My mind is a nest of nightmares, Mera." Stepping forward, he traced a finger along her jawline, and then suddenly took her by the throat, almost enough pressure to cut off her breathing. "Would you like to test me?" 

Mera Violet Haddock: Mera gasped for breath. “You - test me - enough!” she croaked out. 

The Warden: "I don’t think I have." The Warden forced her to her knees. "Do not make this any harder than it has to be, Your Highness. Give up now. Gareth belongs to me." 

Mera Violet Haddock: "That…" Mera gasped, "is where you will always be wrong. You might have his body… but I have his heart." 

The Warden: "But it’s not enough, is it?" He loosened his grip ever so slightly. "Would you like to know why the blind one went mad?" 

Mera Violet Haddock: "I already know," Mera answered while coughing. She hated the fact her children were watching this, especially because Egil would not understand the concept of demon possession. This was his father choking her that he would be seeing. Trying to concentrate on her current conversation, Mera continued, “It doesn’t take much insight to know the fool went mad because he was too devoted to Haddock and couldn’t deal with death. Immature, unstable. The mark of a troubled youth.” 

The Warden: Her eyes kept flicking over to the children. Interesting. 

"Oh, it was more than devotion, Mera. It was love. He loved him without reservation, someone he could never have…and he knew. He knew about your marriage, he knew of the children, and yet he still wanted him. How selfish of him…of both of them.”

Tightening his grip, he threw her to the ground and advanced, the Warden continuing her jibe. "Do you know what it looks like from here, Mera?" He tapped the side of his head and glanced over at the children, raising his voice so they could hear.

"It looks like Daddy doesn’t love Mommy any more." 

Egil Ander Haddock: That was more than enough to stoke up Egil. Grabbing up a nearby twig and brandishing it like a sword, he screamed, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MOM!” He rushed toward the Warden. Mera, coughing on the ground, could not even wave a warning for him to retreat. 

Egil charged. 

Greg Ericson: Greg saw the young boy charge in rage, his warrior’s blood boiling hot. The Warden would tear him apart instantly, and there was no way in Hel that he could let that happen. He dashed over to Egil and scooped him up in his arms. “Woah there little guy. You do not want to go over there.” With that he quickly put as much distance between him and the Warden as possible. 

The Warden: Haddock gritted his teeth as the little boy was rescued. He would have made a good example…if I ran—

 Suddenly her thoughts derailed and a jumble of phrases fell into her mind.

You do care for these mortals, don’t you, daughter? I’m almost proud…

She wants you to come home…

You’re close, so very close, little sister…

Shaking his head and growling, Haddock stepped back a foot, looking down his nose at Mera. The Warden needed time to think.

"Do not attempt any more stunts, Your Highness. Your offspring got off lucky…one of them, anyway." His eyes lingered on the little girl. "If you push me, there will be more severe consequences. Permanent ones. Understood?" 

Mera Violet Haddock: Mera knew when not to provoke another. This demon clearly had the advantage. Bowing her head, attempting to act as meekly as possible, she whispered, “Yes. I understand. Very much.” 

The Warden: Looking over all of the mortals in the vicinity, Haddock turned on his heel and walked farther along the edge of camp, rubbing the hilt of his sword between his fingers, eyeing the dragons that guarded the walls and sniffing as the Warden shoved them back when he passed, cowing them into submission. 

Greg Ericson: Seeing that the Warden was finally leaving put Greg at ease. They would deal with her at a later date but for now he had much more pressing matters to attend to. He quickly made his way over to Signy and picked up the young child in his free arm. He then walked Egil and his sister over to Mera. Once there Greg placed Egil down and reached his hand out to the queen to help her up. “Your majesty, ” he said, “I believe I have some things that belong to you.” 

Mera Violet Haddock: Mera looked up, trying to process what was happening. Events while they were happening never bothered her. It was always in the aftermath that she processed what was happening. My poor dears. She reached out to hold Signy, cradling the child close, and pulled Egil in to her embrace as well. Both the children were crying. Must be strong… for them.

 "Thank you," she coughed. 

Greg Ericson: " Don’t worry about it your Highness." Greg replied. "Are you okay though?" He asked noticing her cough. "The Warden knocked you around pretty hard." 

Mera Violet Haddock: "I’ll…" Mera stopped mid-sentence. No. That’s a lie. I won’t be okay. “I could use some help, kind sir,” she admitted. She squeezed both her kids. Neither were walking, and with Egil at least, that was quite alarming. Not like I feel like talking either. 

Greg Ericson: "Of course," Greg replied instantly. After going through something like that, I’d need some help too. Not even to mention the kids. "What do you need me to do?" 

Mera Violet Haddock: "Help me up," Mera suggested. "Okay kids, Mom’s here, everything’s okay." Mera queezed them one more time before trying to wobble to her feet. 

Greg Ericson: Greg acted quickly as he saw Mera attempting to stand. He grabbed her arm and gently wrapped it around his shoulder steadying her as she wobbled on unsteady legs. 

Mera Violet Haddock: "Thank you," she said. "Back to my rooms. Egil? Egil honey, follow your mother." 

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Haddock Possessed

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